The Center for Fiction 2010 First Novel Prize (then called the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize) was awarded to Karl Marlantes for his debut novel Matterhorn (Atlantic Monthly Press with El León Literary Arts). Read about Matterhorn below and browse 2010’s shortlisted titles.
This annual award was created in 2006 to honor the best first novel of the year. Debut novels published between January 1 and December 31 of the award year are eligible. The winner is announced in December at our Annual Awards Benefit.
- Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes (Atlantic Monthly Press with El León Literary Arts)
- Beneath the Lion’s Gaze by Maaza Mengiste (W.W. Norton)
- The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer (Alfred A. Knopf)
- Mr. Peanut by Adam Ross (Alfred A. Knopf)
- The Quickening by Michelle Hoover (Other Press)
- The Report by Jessica Francis Kane (Graywolf Press)
- This is Just Exactly Like You by Drew Perry (Viking)
By Karl Marlantes
Published by Atlantic Monthly Press with El León Literary Arts
Intense, powerful, and compelling, Matterhorn is an epic war novel in the tradition of Norman Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead and James Jones’s The Thin Red Line. It is the timeless story of a young Marine lieutenant, Waino Mellas, and his comrades in Bravo Company, who are dropped into the mountain jungle of Vietnam as boys and forced to fight their way into manhood. Standing in their way are not merely the North Vietnamese but also monsoon rain and mud, leeches and tigers, disease and malnutrition. Almost as daunting, it turns out, are the obstacles they discover between each other: racial tension, competing ambitions, and duplicitous superior officers. But when the company finds itself surrounded and outnumbered by a massive enemy regiment, the Marines are thrust into the raw and all-consuming terror of combat. The experience will change them forever.